Friday, June 7, 2013

Emergency Room Visits Likely to Increase Under Obamacare

The National Center for Policy Analysis published a short article titled: "Emergency Room Visits Likely to Increase Under Obamacare".

According to the article, the following are two reasons why costs for the Emergency Room will increase:
  • Around half of the insured will enroll in Medicaid and these patients typically seek care in the Emergency Room more often than those who are uninsured.
  • There will be an increased demand for emergency rooms
Health Insurance Status
The Congressional Budget Office States the following:
  • 32 million people who are uninsured will be able to obtain health insurance under the health care reform.
  • About half of this 32 million will enroll in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
  • The health insurance exchanges to start in 2014 with implementation to begin in October 2013 will allow more members to obtain health insurance.
Emergency Room Use
  • Many people think that the uninsured go to the hospital more than those with insurance and in this article, they state this is not the case.
Predicting Emergency Room Use Based on Change in Health Insurance Status
If the following 4 points are met:
  1. Half uninsured obtain insurance
  2. Newly insured enroll 50/50 in Medicaid & private plans
  3. The newly insured are reflective of the current population
  4.  The newly insured behave similar to those like them
  • Under 18, the number of insured will climb to 22% from 18%
  • Ages 18-44 ER visits will increase to 28% from 21%
  • Ages 45-64 ER visits will increase to 28% from 19%
Predicting Emergency Room Use Based on Health Care Rationing
  • Uninsured make almost two physician visits per year it is more than 3.5 for privately insured and 7.5 for Medicaid patients.
  • It is estimated that the newly insured will attempt 3.6 additional physican visits
  • After the above being said - this would be an increase of 39-41 million additional emergency room visits per year.
To download the full article with a chart, please click the following link: Emergency Room Visits Likely to Increase Under Obamacare.

For additional billing, coding, & reimbursement resources, please click the following link: Medical Reimbursement, Inc. Resources Page.

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